fbpx Skip to content


Is Exercise Capacity Inherited?

| Earn 1 CEC - Take Quiz

When it comes to exercise, the old “nature vs. nurture” question may now be settled. A recent study by biologists at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), suggests that voluntary physical activity participation may be all about the genes. The scientists selectively bred mice to determine whether physical capacity is an inheritable trait. According to a UCR press release, “Their experiments showed that mice that were bred to be high runners produced high-running offspring, indicating that the offspring had inherited the trait for activity.” There also appeared to be an adaptation difference between male and female mice. The females increased daily running distance almost entirely by speed; males increased speed, too, but they also ran more minutes per day. “[This study] shows that ‘there are many ways to skin a cat’: different ways in which a species may evolve a similar adaptive characteristic—running activity, in this case,” concluded the study authors. The study was published online September 1 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2010; doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1584).

For more information on heredity and exercise, read “Epiginetics and Heredity” in the Making News section of the June 2010 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.


Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up tp date with our latest news and products.